Reviews /

Einstein the Penguin: The Case of the Fishy Detective

Authored by Iona Rangeley
Illustrated by David Tazzyman
Published by HarperCollins Publishers

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This is a mystery story is about a brother and sister detective duo, Imogen and Arthur, who were introduced in the first book in this series, Einstein the Penguin. Imogen and Arthur miss their penguin friends, Einstein and Isaac, who are living in different zoos far away from their home in London. A chance encounter with their old enemy, Bill Hunter, a former detective who is running an agency that provides animals for television adverts, provides an opportunity for both Einstein and Isaac to come for a visit. Hunter offers to put the penguins in an advert to make up for his former transgressions. However, on the first day of filming, both penguins go missing. Imogen and Arthur must use all of their deductive skills to find and rescue the penguins.

The engaging illustrations add to the humour in this fun mystery story. There are a few interesting side plots which could prompt good discussion. It is nearly Imogen’s birthday, and she ponders what she should and shouldn’t be doing now that she is a responsible nearly-eleven-year-old, including whether her days as a detective are behind her. She is struggling with an old friendship gone sour due to the arrival of another girl in school who is monopolizing her old friend Amy’s time. Arthur worries that his sister doesn’t think he is a clever enough detective and, at one point, decides to take some matters into his own hands by stealing back Imogen’s confiscated detective book.

This chapter book would be suitable for children aged 7+ and would be a good class story time book, as well as a great addition to class book corners and school libraries. It would be most suited to Year 3 and 4, however, fluent readers in Year 2 will also enjoy it, with its simple language, humour and energetic illustrations. While it is possible to read and enjoy this story without having read the first book, it would be much more enjoyable if read in sequence, as there are references to the previous book throughout.